Trump says he will add $1b to food for families program
President Donald Trump said on Monday his administration would provide an additional $ 1 billion to a program that provides food to American families dealing with the economic hardship from the coronavirus pandemic. The Farmers to Families Food Box program is one of several government efforts to help struggling Americans.
It aims to buy food from farmers who typically produced for restaurants but lost business because of coronavirus- related shutdowns, and deliver it to the millions of people who were thrown out of work or were otherwise hurt by the pandemic.
"Today I am proud to announce that we will provide an additional one billion dollars to fund the Farmers to Families Food Box program," Trump said during an visit to a North Carolina food packing plant.
Reuters reported in July that the government had delivered far less food aid under the up to $ 3 billion program announced in April than it had pledged by the end of June, citing food banks managers and data from the U. S. Department of Agriculture ( USDA). The program was criticized by food banks, analysts and some U. S. senators, who said contracts were often awarded to inexperienced vendors that were unable to source the food and deliver it in a timely manner.
According to the USDA website, the department aims to complete the purchase of up to $ 2.7 billion of food under the aid program by the end of August.
The White House said in a statement on Monday that under the program, more than 70 million boxes of food had been delivered to food banks and nonprofit organizations.
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, will be tested regularly for COVID- 19, an aide said on
Monday, as the campaign prepares for the possibility of more public events in the run- up to November's election.
Since the coronavirus began spreading widely in the United States in March, Biden has done few public events, most of them close to his Delaware home.
But following his formal nomination at last week's Democratic National Convention, the campaign is expanding its health protocols in a new phase of the race that could see the former vice president in closer proximity to the public. "Consistent with the transparency Vice President Biden has demonstrated, we will make public if either the Vice President or Senator Harris ever has a confirmed, positive case of COVID- 19," a campaign aide told Reuters.
The aide said Biden, 77, Harris, 55, and key staff who interact with them would be tested "on a regular basis," in line with the advice of medical advisers. "This is what responsible leadership looks like," the person said.
Reporters have frequently asked Biden whether he has been tested for COVID- 19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and he has always answered no. He has criticized President Donald Trump's handling of the virus, which has killed more than 176,000 Americans, as disastrous.
During campaign appearances, many broadcast online, Biden consistently wears masks and maintains distance to show his adherence to public health guidelines.
By contrast, Trump, 74, who will face Biden in the Nov. 3 election, downplayed the virus in its early stages, once referred to mask- wearing as politically correct and has been reluctant to wear a face covering himself.
Trump in July wore a mask in public for the first time during the pandemic, a shift in his tone to encourage Americans to wear them as the country began to see a resurgence of cases.